Non-American born president, discrimination?

Schwarzenegger for president?

IANAL but…It seemed contradictory to me that a fully naturalized but foreign born citizen can be excluded from presidency. My reading of the current equal employment opportunity laws and regulations led me to believe that a foreign born American citizen would have a good case to force ‘employment’ as a president. Obviously, this only applies if the US presidency or any official elected office is considered employment.

More info here Federal Executive Order 11246 and here Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 .

So, is it realistic to imagine that some day Schwarzenegger might become president of the United States?

No. It’s no more an act of discrimination than to not allow a non-christian to apply for a place where I work. BOQ I believe it’s called, a bona fide occupational qualification, and rightly so.

Oh sorry, I work in a Christian school.

think of it this way, we just arrested like 4 middle eastern born employees down in guatonomo bay for espionage… imagine if we allow a foreign born president, we’re just askin for it…

A naturalized citizen, in this day and age anyway, is specifically proscribed from being president by the constitution, which trumps any contrary law made under its authority. So barring an amendment to the constitution Mr. Schwarzenegger will not be president.

Article II, section 1:

Yes, it is discrimination; however, it is not illegal discrimination. The US Constitution trumps executive orders and civil rights acts.

Yes phasetim I can just imagine the American people electing an Al Qaeda operative at the President of the United States. There is no legitimate moral argument that I have yet heard to explain why someone born outside the US cannot be President.

Imagine Schwarznegger becomes governor of California and despite expectations becomes a beloved two term leader restoring the state to fiscal balance. What realistic fear should disqualify him from becoming president?

I regard this piece of the Constitution as a relic of earlier times. The day is coming when we will have a compelling candidate who emigrated to the US as a child. He or she will push for an amendment and I hope they succeed.

It’s a relic, but as others as have said it is not unconstitutional since it’s part of the constitution. I would be very surprised to see an amendment passed to alter this. It’s really hard to pass amendments, and there just isn’t any crying need for this to be changed.

This may open a can of worms but I have to agree with the interpretation of the constitution that forbids a non-american born president from taking power. (I look at this in a comparable Canadian point of view).

I have noticed with friends and family that loyalty lies where you were born. A large portion of my Pakistani and Middle Eastern friends that were born abroad have a very strong distaste for American foreign policy - for whatever reason, it’s not the point I’m trying to make. Most of my friend from the same backgrounds but born in Canada hold a more tolerant attitude towards the US (understanding it’s not the general population - just the president that’s an idiot - we’ll leave the question of why they follow him like sheep to another thread).

The point is, I think where you are born plays an important role of where your loyalties lie. The job of President/Prime Minister is not like any other job and the risk is just too great to give this authority to someone who is not born here and may have loyalties to his/her natural birth country. I am not saying that a foreign born citizen could not fulfill this responsibility, far from it, just that the potential for disaster is too great a risk.

What exactly does the term “natural born citizen” mean? Would someone born of an American parent or parents abroad count? How about an infant adopted in a foreign country by American parents?

I think, not that I have any influence or brains here, that a person who became an American citizen before their 18th birthday should be eligible to run for president.

Moral is irrelevant. It’s in the Constitution and it would be very hard to change.

Not if things fall right. The Dems would have a tough time justifying to their base blocking democratic reform and if it were in the Repubs interest to allow the possibility of a foreign born president then it could happen. What could make the them want to do that? Can you say, “Let me introduce our next president, the governor of the great state of California!”? If Arnold wins then we might see an amendment. If not then we’ll likely have to wait until it is in the interest of the conservative party to do the right thing here.

Well, Arnold will almost certainly win in CA. But the point is that for most people this is about 548th on the priority list of things that need to be done in this country. Sorrry, but there’s just no traction. Who is going to champion this issue? It’s a non-starter.

Supposedly the provision was inserted into the constitution to prevent some foreign head of state from assuming the presidency. Europe had a long tradition of importing foreigners to serve as kings or queens in the aftermath of wars or dynastic disasters. Just look at the German family that are now the rulers of Great Britain. The provision makes it impossible to import the eldest son of the ruler of (say) France to serve as President/Monarch. Sort of a declaration that the US won’t be following monarchial practices.

It takes time for the malaise to set in–at least a couple of generations.

Just my 2 cents…

Svt4Him, I think that’s a bit different, because in your case, the person can actually do something about it… they can convert to Christianity. What would be unfair (IMHO) and more akin to the presidential situation is if a person can work there ONLY if he or she was BORN a Christian. If, say, somebody was born into an atheist background and then raised from age 5 onwards to be a devout Christian, I think he/she should be allowed to work there (unless your oganization has something against that which I do not understand… if so, I apologize).

In the case of presidents, naturalized citizens are prohibited from running simply because they were born in a different country… an act they had absolutely no control or choice over, just like their race or gender. They can be just as loyal, or even more so, than any natural-born American and they could devote their entire lives for their country (the USA, not wherever they immigrated from) and it would all be meaningless. Basically, it’s saying “I know you’re a good, loyal citizen like the others in this land and you may have much for your country… but just because you were born somewhere else, you ain’t gonna have a chance at all… nya nya nya.” How is that not discrimination?

It might be true that most immigrants are more loyal to their home countries than to the USA, but what about those who really are loyal to the USA? If they can prove it to the nation, and the nation agrees with them (by being willing to vote for them), then why should they automatically be assumed to not be American enough by the Constitution?

It’s unfair to exclude people just because they represent a greater risk. If that were a good enough reason, where do you stop? Do you start preventing people with Middle-Eastern-sounding names from running for president? And then after that, anybody with Middle-Eastern friends? The risk is always there. Even natural born citizens can become spies for other countries. That’s what the democratic process is for… letting people vote for whoever they trust and think will make a good president. If somebody has had shady dealings with terrorist organizations in the past, then they simply wouldn’t win many votes. The people should be allowed to decide for themselves whether a canditate is trustworthy… why does the constitution have to limit their choices for them?

But of course, since it is a democracy, the Constitution can be amended to change that… I hope it will be, personally :slight_smile: I wonder how long before we see our first, say, Iraqi-American female president…

Minor edit…
“I know you’re a good, loyal citizen like the others in this land and you may have much for your country…”

That should read “I know you’re a good, loyal citizen like the others in this land and you may DONE have much for your country…”

I thought I had made that clear. The pubbies will push it so that they can have a popular sucessor in the wings. And once they do the Dems will be in a tough spot. Balking would be undemocratic.

And it is exactly because of bigotted and racist (well, nationalistic) remarks like this why we have Employement protection laws. Portected classes include race, religion, and ORIGIN.

A definition of ‘foreign born’ is required. A baby born to U.S. citizen in any country outside of the U.S. is considered a U.S. citizen. Later the person will be able to choose to adopt another citizenship, fromt he country it was born in.

Vriggs are you saying that such a person will have no allegiance to the U.S. and should not be allowed to represent this country?

Vriggs are you saying that such a person will have no allegiance to the U.S. and should not be allowed to represent this country? **

You haven’t read the post properly. Re-read it.